Generating More Referral Business – Newsletter, July 2020

July 10, 2020


Generating More Referral Business

As a Business Coach, most of my clients want to improve and grow their business and, one of the key ways to do this is referrals. Referral business not only is often free, or cheap, it also has the added bonus of including a testimonial.
The reason you’ll get referred is by providing excellent services or products, and your customers will want to share that with their friends, family, and colleagues.

Generating more referral business is achieved by following four simple steps:

  1. Considering your competition.
  2. Ask!– Simply ask your current customers for referrals, it’s that simple!
  3. Join a networking/referral group – such as BNI.
  4. Say thank you.


Step One: Considering Your Competition

Considering which other businesses also target your customers, and striking up a deal to promote each other and share clientele,
may help you secure, and keep, customers. 

It’s helpful to consider other business which offers complementary services to your own. For a retail business, think of businesses like the cafe next door, and all the customers they have walking through their doors daily – could they give customers the heads up that it might be good to check out your shop next door? For a service business, it might be that you need some other service to get the job done, e.g. an electrician working on a kitchen needs a plumber to finish.

Have a chat with the complementary business and see what you could do to promote each other. This can be simple, e.g. a shop next door to the café offers a discount for the cafe customers, and vice versa or the cafe has your business cards on the counter. Or, it could be more involved, e.g. many people go to the movies and often have a meal first, so maybe the theatre offers a meal and a movie deal with a convenient restaurant.

Step Two: Ask!

This may be the simplest step of all – just ASK your current customers for a referral, it’s that easy!

Many businesses do not ask their customers for referrals, yet customer referrals can be the cheapest and best way to generate business. And, many customers and associates do not think of referring business to you when someone mentions needing the service(s) and or product(s) that you offer. However, you can get around this with a simple, polite request to customers, friends, family, and associates, to please mention you to their customers, friends, family members, and associates. Also, customers often want to help the businesses they like, so a polite request to please refer you and your business is unlikely to fall on deaf ears, or be seen as a pushy request.

You can make your verbal requests even stronger, or avoid having to directly ask if you’re uncomfortable doing so, with a line at the bottom of your email such as, “The best compliment you can pay us is a referral of a friend, family member, or colleague” and have signs around your premises. To sweeten the deal, consider offering a discount to those who manage to get you a customer via a referral, or a rewards voucher or gift of some sort – more on this in Step Four.

Step Three: Join a Networking/Referral Group

I’m an Executive Director of BNI, so this is the specific networking/referral group I recommend. However, if BNI is not for you, or you’d like to be a part of more than one group, there are plenty of alternatives, such as Venus, or The Chamber of Commerce.

Organisations like BNI, The Chamber of Commerce, and Venus, to name only a few, help members network with and refer business to, each other. Joining isn’t enough to get the best results; you must be an active member by attending the group events, networking, networking, networking(!), and considering other ways to be a valued member of the group such as considering being on the leadership team.

As an Executive Director of BNI, of course, I strongly recommend becoming a BNI member. There are so many positives of being a BNI member, which I’d really like to share with you via the PDF below. Please, have a read, and see how BNI can help you generate more business, and more contacts and allies in the business world, to help improve and really ramp-up your chances of a larger customer base, greater profits, and success.

Growing Your Business Using BNI [Click to View]

Step Four: Say ‘Thank You’

Always remember to give thanks, and you shall continue to receive. 

Once you have a great referral, always remember to thank your referrer. Whether this is in the form of a card, a simple, verbal thanks, or a gift, discount, or a free product or service, any form of thanks is better than none – and encourages more of your customers to also refer your business.


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If you have any questions, queries, complaints, or suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know! And, if you have a topic you’d like covered, I’d love to hear from you!

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Copyright © 2020 Steve Hockley Business Coach, All rights reserved.

My mailing address is: Steve Hockley Business Coach, 194 Waterloo Road, Lower Hutt,
Wellington 6010, New Zealand



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